Impressions of E3 2016: Full of Surprises!

This year’s E3 is, for me, the best one ever. While I didn’t get to attend this year, all of the new game reveals and footage have made this E3 very exciting! I would say Sony stole the show with its press conference. It was just one new game (or brand new footage) after another, for like 45 minutes straight. And I guess the cool thing was that while I went into E3 looking forward to games like Mass Effect Andromeda and Dishonored 2, I now have a bunch of new games I want to play. It was an E3 full of surprises.

Initial Excitement

Gears of War 4

The Xbox press conference showed off some brand new footage, which was gorgeous. Seeing the old lancer made me feel all nostalgic. However, most of what the footage showed off — the stormy weather, the new weapon, the new characters — is stuff we’ve already seen. The Coalition has been very forthcoming with information about the game this year, so I think it’s just time to play it already. =)

Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda 2This is the last E3 before Andromeda comes out, right? So we should see a bunch of new info and footage! I want it all!

Instead, we got a new trailer and some vague story details from the game devs. Apparently, this protagonist is younger than Commander Shepard was, and a stranger in a strange land. (The character is wearing the Alliance armor, though.) It is an intriguing scenario. There was also a flash of an asari’s face in the new trailer, which makes me wonder if she will be a squad mate!

I guess I was just expecting to see more actual gameplay at this point. While BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn told GameSpot that he’s confident about that part, I can’t help but be a tad nervous that they chose not to show off something. To be quite honest, Andromeda was the most disappointing showing of E3 for me, though I’ll admit my expectations were high.

On the other hand, I appreciate that they’re not giving away too much of the story. It’s kind of opposite of what Gears has done, in that they are keeping surprises for the players instead of spilling the whole story early!

Dishonored 2

I’ll talk more about this in my next post. =) But let’s just say this for now: I think Arkane Studios and Bethesda did a perfect job with their presentation of Dishonored 2 at E3. A lot of details have already been released about the game, but they utilized E3 to show off lots of new footage and behind-the-scenes details.

New Surprises

As I said, E3 had a lot of amazing surprises too. Too many to name in full, but here are a few that stood out to me. =)

Days Gone is the first that springs to mind — it’s a new PlayStation reveal that looks like an amped-up, motorcycle gang version of The Last of Us. The gameplay at Sony’s press conference showed an insane number of zombies chasing after the lead character, with spectacular animations in a beautiful Pacific Northwest environment, beaten up after this apocalypse.

Another knock-out is God of War 4, which Sony used to open their press conference. While I enjoy the hack-n-slash combat of past God of War games, I’ve really only played them for work. I’m not always a fan of the stories they tell (as cool as gods can be). However, you can’t help but be impressed by just how stunning looks with its more open-world, free-camera style. Already I like the story better, too. The gameplay at E3 showed Kratos with his son, teaching him to hunt and taking down a beast with him. I liked the quiet moments here.

we happy few
We Happy Few

There are two indie titles I’m looking forward to now. One is Fe, the first game announced for EA Originals. You play as an adorable little wolf-puppy creature, exploring and interacting through sound. Meanwhile, We Happy Few looks totally messed up, as you play as someone living in a facility where people take “joy” pills to live their happy lives away from the rest of the world. Gameplay footage showed that when the protagonist skips a joy pill, they see kids eating dead rats out of a piñata — totally oblivious that it’s not candy. My interest is piqued!

I’m curious to play Tacoma too. While I missed Gone Home (I will play it someday soon, I swear!), I know The Fullbright Company carries a lot of respect, and the sci-fi mystery Tacoma presents looks like just the kind of game I’d be into.

Another title that sounds intriguing is Vampyr, from Dontnod who made Remember Me and Life is Strange. As a fan of their games already, I would like to give Vampyr a shot. It doesn’t seem to play like either of their previous games, though — instead, it reminds me a little of Bloodbourne with the dark, gothic setting and use of pistols and dodging in close combat. Apparently, you play as a vampire who can kill to feed, but this prevents you from leveling up — so it’s better to play smart and careful when you need some blood. This could create an interesting story experience!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also looks incredible. The animated art style is very pretty, and it sounds more open-roamy than previous Zelda games. However, I’ve really only played Ocarina of Time, so this one is just going on my already long list of Zelda to-plays!

The Aim Controller, to play Farpoint on PlayStation VR!

There was also some virtual reality at E3, notably with Sony’s press conference reveals for games like Resident Evil 7 biohazard being available in VR. However, I’m not that interested in VR yet. Maybe someday, when there are lots of cool games for it — but for now, the main game that drew my attention VR-wise was Farpoint. A PlayStation title, it’s a science fiction shooter that looks like it plays well — with a pistol-like controller that looks fun to try out. As a sci-fi shooter fan, this is one of the first games I’ll pick up if I purchase PSVR any time soon! =)

Another interesting one is Star Trek: Bridge Crew, by Ubisoft, which is a VR game that you can play with friends. You sit on the bridge of a starship and strategize with them right there in the same room. It’s a great concept and obviously, being Star Trek, I’m in love already. I just don’t know anybody else to play this one with!

Last but not least, I was very excited to see more of Watch_Dogs 2 at E3 this year. I didn’t play the first game, and frankly had no interest in it, despite enjoying the idea of hacking as gameplay. However, this new game looks very intriguing! It’s set in San Francisco (where I live), which is an instant draw for me. I also like that you can choose different approaches to missions (stealth, fighting, or hacking). But mostly, the makeshift weapon the protagonist swings around — a billiard ball swung on a rope, I believe — looks awesome. I’ll definitely be playing this game!

Watch_Dogs 2

You’ll notice some big games missing from this discussion, which is because they may be in my next E3 post of my favorite games this year… =)

— Ashley

4 thoughts on “Impressions of E3 2016: Full of Surprises!”

  1. Funny, I was just reading another article where everyone seemed to agree this E3 was a huge disappointment. I don’t follow conventions that closely, so I have no real opinion either way.

    The only thing really on my radar right now is Vampyr. It’s not the subject matter I usually go for, but it definitely seems interesting. Andromeda is still just an idea with no real details. Most other things are console or VR exclusive, and therefore irrelevant to me.

    1. Yeah, I agree about Vampyr, it looks interesting despite the fact that I’m don’t usually go for vampire stories, etc. That’s funny about the negative opinions of E3, I guess I haven’t seen any “bad reviews” but whatever, I loved this year! :)

  2. Gone Home is free for PS+ members this month! I haven’t played it either yet but that certainly makes me doing so soon a lot more likely.

    I’ve seen a lot of negativity about E3, and while I wouldn’t call it my favorite I definitely was pleased by it. I’m still not sure how I feel about Vampyr, to be honest, mostly because the gameplay looked a little lackluster for the genre (that is, third-person/action-oriented), but if Dontnod preserves the heart of Life is Strange I’ll happily buy another game from them.

    1. Ooh I didn’t know that! Thanks, sounds like this is the time to play then. :) I know what you mean about Vampyr, I’m curious about the RPG aspects more than anything. And yeah, I’m pretty confident in Dontnod!

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